Sunday, January 22, 2012

Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World by Dalai Lama, Alexander Norman (Contribution by)


A stirring call to move beyond religion for the guidance to improve human life on individual, community, and global levels—including a guided meditation practice for cultivating key human values

Ten years ago, in his best-selling Ethics for a New Millennium, His Holiness the Dalai Lama first proposed an approach to ethics based on universal rather than religious principles. Now, in Beyond Religion, the Dalai Lama, at his most compassionate and outspoken, elaborates and deepens his vision for the nonreligious way. Transcending the mere "religion wars," he outlines a system of secular ethics that gives tolerant respect to religion—those that ground ethics in a belief in God and an afterlife, and those that understand good actions as leading to better states of existence in future lives. And yet, with the highest level of spiritual and intellectual authority, the Dalai Lama makes a claim for what he calls a third way. This is a system of secular ethics that transcends religion as a way to recognize our common humanity and so contributes to a global human community based on understanding and mutual respect.

Beyond Religion is an essential statement from the Dalai Lama, a blueprint for all those who yearn for a life of spiritual fulfillment as they work for a better world.

My thoughts:
Last month I came across an offer to get this book free on audible.  Since I was looking for a way to listen to books on my Ipod I tried it out.  I've been listening to it a little at a time since then.  Yesterday I finished it while running on the treadmill.  I'm afraid some of the content didn't really stay with me, whether because I took so  long to listen to it or because I was listening rather than reading it.  I've found that I am great at listening to fiction, but non-fiction on audio isn't always as easy to hang onto and process.

The Dalai Lama raises a lot of suggestions, recommendations and concerns.  He tells stories to illustrate his point, for example how we need to make time for relationships and for leisure, as there will always be work to keep us busy, but if we put it off too long we may be in the grave before we have the chance to do what we keep saying we are going to do.

The chapter on guided meditation was a nice.  He went into detail and described all the things we can do and modifications for issues so that everyone has the opportunity to experience meditation in their lives.  Also the section on how hatred harms the person who hates was a good reminder to all of us that we can change the way we react to actions and the actions we take to change how we feel about what is happening to and around us.  Changing your attitude can made a big difference!  I tell my children this all the time, but it can be very hard to put into action in everyday life!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547636351
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 12/6/2011
Pages: 208

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